“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Luke 2:14 ESV
Because love is the one word for Christmas, worship becomes its defining word.
Wonder over His redeeming love, seeing Him pour Himself out to serve as Savior, fills a heart with worship.
Worship reveres, honors, and devotes energy to serving the One who stooped low to deliver us from darkness, sin, and death.
Because He serves us, we choose to offer our lives to Him in humble wonder. Such service inspires praise.
The more we serve with surrendered hearts, the more wonders we see in His amazing grace. Worship-full acts of service intensify the inspiration to praise His name.
By becoming a human, susceptible to death, He makes way for us to enter eternal life. Freeing us from the deadly consequences of sin and redeeming all our past and present sins. Even sins yet to be committed, already turned to bring Him glory and bless His people, fill us with reasons to worship with wonder.
Many in the Christmas story were incited to praise His name.
Worship defined His conception.
Mary, His mother, worshipped Him with joy-full praise.
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy and true is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. …”
Luke 1:46-50 ESV
Her song of praise goes on because of the blessing He poured out on her. Her soul magnified Him, made Him large, prominent, exalted Him in her life.
Worship defined preparation.
Zechariah, the father of John the baptizer, entered the Nativity story before Mary. Silenced by the angel who gave him good news, he was mute until his son, designated to prepare hearts for the Lord, was born.
When Zechariah’s tongue was finally set free, he too burst forth in worshipful praise.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David… that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant…”
Luke 1:68-79, 71-72 ESV
Zechariah’s praise also included prophecy inspiring everyone who heard to wonder at his worship-full words.
Worship defined wonder.
The shepherds blessed with the angelic birth announcement of Jesus went quickly to see what the angels revealed. After seeing the Babe wrapped up in the manger, they returned to their work in the fields glorifying and praising God!
Worship defined pilgrimage.
Wise men, too, after their long trek following His star, bowed down and worshipped Him with words and gifts.
The entire Christmas story is filled with and defined by worship.
Praise and worship through service and word are integral parts of a Believer’s faith journey.
My heart for worship has intensified through the practice of praising His name in prayer. A Scripture-based prayer practice I learned from the ministry of Moms In Prayer International.
Leading prayer groups in four-step prayer, beginning with praise, taught me there are infinite ways to worship His name. He is a God worthy of worship, a God we are to magnify in our souls, just like Mary.
Unbounded praise is fueled by our infinite Creator who confined Himself to become a Babe laid in a manger.
By coming to earth, making Himself small, vulnerable, and dependent, He made the Way for us to be saved.
Let worship define your life because it defines Christmas.
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19 NIV
How will you worship Him this Christmas day?
How will you let worship define your life tomorrow and every day after?
Ask Him to let the defining word of Christmas define your life too.